2 charged in MIA gold bar theft

Marco Cruz, Ramses Llufrio charged in theft of $625K worth of gold bars

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MIAMI - Federal prosecutors charged two men in connection with the theft of $625,000 worth of gold bars from an American Airlines flight that arrived at Miami International Airport last month.

Marco Cruz, 47, of Hialeah, faces several charges, including knowingly stealing gold bars. Ramses Llufrio, 38, of Hialeah, is charged with receiving one of the stolen gold bars.

Cruz works for Fleet Service Clerk and had access to American Airlines flight 902 when it arrived May 14 from Guayaquil, Ecuador, prosecutors said. He initially denied his involvement in the theft, but when he allowed police to search his home, they found the stolen bars and $200,000 cash. Cruz later provided police with an additional $50,000 in cash.

Llufrio, who owns a pawn shop in Miami, bought five gold bars from Cruz for about $250,000 cash, prosecutors said. He did so after Cruz told him one of the bars was "hot."

Cruz posted $150,000 bond on Friday. Llufrio was being held on $100,000 bond.

Both men face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. They will be arraigned June 21.

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